South Carolina

Current Codes

Residential, Commercial
2009 IECC, ASHRAE 90.1-2007 Mandatory
Monday, July 1, 2013
Monday, April 2, 2012
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Additional Code Information

Advocacy Opportunities



Adopt Mandatory Codes






The current edition of Appendix J (Code for Energy Conservation in new building construction) to the Standard Building Code of the Southern Building Code Congress International only provides prescriptive R-values and is most comparable to the 1992 MEC in stringency.


The 2006 IECC became effective on July 1, 2009 as South Carolina’s mandatory code.   

Adopt an Automatic Review & Update Process


The state has no formal schedule for reviewing building energy codes. The last update was July 1, 2008.

The South Carolina Building Codes Council (SCBCC) has indicated its intent to adopt the 2009 International Code series, including the 2009 IECC. The Council is currently seeking individuals willing to serve on its Code Study Committees for the 2009 code adoption cycle. 

Create a Regulatory Process



The South Carolina Building Codes Council (BCC) is charged with adopting and amending the statewide building codes. Adoption of the latest version of the national model codes is done through the publication of a notice of intent in the state register, followed by a comment period and at least one public hearing. A study committee may be convened to consider public feedback and, once promulgated, the code becomes effective on the first day of January or July -- whichever provides more than six months lead time.

Improve Compliance


Compliance is determined through the building permit and inspection process by local building code officials and the State Building Commission. REScheck and COMcheck may be used to demonstrate compliance for residential and commercial buildings. The State Building Commissioner enforces the code for all state buildings and buildings built on state-owned property.

Eliminate Weakening Amendments


Add Strengthening Amendments


Allow Innovation at the Local Level


Section 6-9-63, Subsection C, of the South Carolina Code of Laws states that “The primary function of the council is to accept all requests for variation from the series of codes listed in this chapter and to determine which variations, if any, are justified by local conditions and can be enacted after a finding on the record that the modification provides a reasonable degree of public health, safety, and welfare.” 

Code amendments or “variations” are only permissible for geographic or climate-related issues. Otherwise, the state code is mandatory for all jurisdictions.

Set Milestones


In September 2008, the South Carolina Governor accepted recommendations to address climate change. Energy efficiency of buildings was included among the areas to be addressed. Specifically, goals were established to:
Ensure that 100% of South Carolina's local governments adopt and fully enforce the 2006 IECC in 2009 and the 2012 IECC in 2015; and
Ensure that ENERGY STAR-certified manufactured homes achieve 25% market penetration for new manufactured homes by 2010 and 75% by 2020.

Adopt Green Codes










State Wide Program:
South Carolina.
State Building Energy Standards, 2007

Program Description:
Energy use reduction of 1% annually for five years beginning July 1, 2008; 20% energy use reduction relative to 2000 by July 1, 2020.  Generally, major facility projects must be constructed to achieve LEED Silver or receive Two Globes under the Green Globe rating system; other paths to compliance are available based on 30-year life cycle cost analysis. All major facility projects in the State must be analyzed using a life cycle cost analysis comparing the cost and benefits of designing, constructing, maintaining, and operating the facility at the LEED Silver standard or two globes standard, or better, with certification; normal industry and regulatory standards as applicable; or some standard between the two that causes the project to be designed and constructed in a manner that achieves the lowest thirty-year life cycle cost. 

Energy Standard:
Energy use reduction of 1% annually for five years beginning July 1, 2008; 20% energy use reduction relative to 2000 by July 1, 2020.   

Commercial LEED certification:  below is summarized from LEED NC, details vary according to certification program. Mandatory: minimum 10% compliance beyond ASHRAE 90.1-2007, or use of NBI's Core Performance or one of ASHRAE's Advanced Energy Design Guidelines.
LEED options include: optimize energy performance, on-site renewable energy, enhanced commissioning, enhanced refrigerant management, measurement & verification, and green power.    
Residential: mandatory prerequisite, ENERGY STAR certification and refrigerant charge test, options include exceptional energy performance, efficient hot water distribution, pipe insulation, and appropriate HVAC refrigerants.

August 2009


ICLEI - International Association of local Governments and their Associations
South Carolina has five local government members:
Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Spartanburg, and Sumter.

Mayors Climate Protection Center
Five South Carolina Mayors have signed The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement:
Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Spartanburg, and Sumter.

International Codes Council (ICC) Regional Support and State Offices:
Ms. Janice Moy
ICC Chicago District Office
4051 West Flossmoor Road
Country Club Hills, IL 60478
Phone: 1-888-422-7233, Ext. 4525

Mr. Vaughn Wicker, C.B.O.
Vice President, State & Local Government Relations
P.O. Box 1207
Simpsonville, SC 29681
Phone: 1-888-422-7233, Ext. 7402

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